by featured blogger Alexandra Caspero, MS, RD, CPT from Delicious Knowledge
I don’t know about your house, but the Superbowl in mine is given almost as much billing as other top holidays. A day solely reserved for football, beer, and food. I’ll try to pretend that most men don’t try to get away with this ever Sunday from September on, but Superbowl tends to be a bit more special.
Whether your favorite team is playing or not, chances are good that you will be spending this day with family or friends, celebrating America’s top pastimes: football & food. According to the National Restaurant Association, more than one-quarter of all Americans who watch the game will be picking up takeout food or having it delivered. Others will be turning their kitchens into small factories to produce oversized platters of wings, sliders, and cheesy nachos.
Think of the Superbowl as a second Thanksgiving, with the average meal clocking in at well over 1,000 calories and a day’s worth of saturated fat. For New Year’s Resolutioners, it’s the first ‘big test’ of the year. No matter what your goal, here are my top tips for surviving, no thriving during the Super Bowl.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Most Super Bowl spreads are meant to be enjoyed over the course of 4+ hours, so no need to over indulge before the halftime show. Use smaller plates and place a small amount, just a bite or two, of foods. When finished, put down the plate. Wait at least twenty minutes before going back for seconds and only get stuff that is truly worth it.
Watch the alcohol. Ice cold beer pairs so well with bar-type food, even more so when the game is on. However, we all know that alcohol isn’t calorie free. Not only does overindulging make you more likely to overeat at the buffet table, it also contributes to empty, non-filling calories. Choose a light beer and stick to 1-2.
Bring something for you, and other, to enjoy. Try creating a healthier version of your favorite dip or entree. Most people probably won’t notice if you swap in reduced-fat versions of mayo or sour cream or decrease the amount used. Why not bring bean chili over ground beef chili, baked chicken wings or cauliflower chicken wings, low-fat dip and vegetables, or guacamole? That way you can fill up on healthier choices, while still leaving room to indulge in your favorites.
Exercise the day of. Since most of the afternoon/evening will be spent on the couch, make it a point to move earlier in the day. Enjoy a walk with family, go on a bike ride, or take a class at the gym, whatever motivates you to move!
If you do overindulge, don’t let it derail you. We are all allowed feast days every now and again. If they rarely happen, they won’t make a big difference in overall health or weight goals. Now, whose ready for some football!?
Alexandra Caspero, MS, RD, CLT is the phenomenal dietitian, exercise physiologist and founder of Delicious Knowledge. Specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, and plant-based diets, Alexandra shares real-life advice with clients and blog followers on a regular basis to help them successfully meet their healthy eating goals. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.